In my early elementary school days my two best friends were portuguese. I loved recess and lunch time because that’s when we would sit around and share our lunches and snacks. I remember my friends having tasty cheese/butter sandwiches or some kind of delicious corned beef with potatoes. Why do I remember these things yet can’t remember details that occurred more recently?
One of my all time favourite snacks that my friends would share with me was the cod fish balls (bolinhos de bacalhau). Their parents would sometimes drop it off during lunch time and they’d offer me a taste. I felt so happy trying other people’s lunches and usually preferred it to my own. At that age (I might’ve been 7 or 8), I never thought to ask them where they bought it from. I did remember the logo.
A couple years later, I was at a newer friend’s house and learned her parents owned one of the franchises and the named was sort of burned into my memory when we had a project to do – we had to create menu’s for our make believe restaurants. Her restaurant was “Nova Era” – the same name as the franchise that her dad owned. It was this same place that my other friends had gotten their cod fish balls from. This project and her beautiful menu helped me remember the name of this place.
Mine was called “Julianna’s Palace” – Lame…I know, I wasn’t very creative but I did like Aladdin, so there’s that. I wish I kept my menu so I could share bits of it with you but I think I tossed it out as part of my major declutter fest a few years ago. I’m pretty sure pizza and french fries were on the menu. They were my top two favourite foods back then and *ahem* now, some things never change. I’m getting better at keeping my distance from these two weaknesses so I can make room to eat other tasty and more healthy foods.
I never actually found out what the real name of these cod fish balls were until high school when I made friends with a Brazilian girl that told me the pastry that I was describing (yup! I’m the kind of food lover that describes my favourites in details and stories) was “Bacalhua”. Which translates to codfish.
I believe it was in high school that I finally went to a Nova Era and purchased some of these cod fish balls. They were just as tasty as I remember. Only, I needed more to satisfy my craving.
What makes these balls soo special and tasty?
MASHED POTATOES + FISH –> Pure Comfort. Like a hug after a bad day… 🙂
A few weeks ago, it was warm out, I got to Nova Era early and snapped these shots. I figured it was time to share these tasty snacks with you. If you haven’t tried them, you must. They are tasty cold and hot. I prefer to warm them up a bit in the microwave or toaster oven. If you are eating at Nova Era Bakery, ask them to warm it up for you.
They are simply made with salt, eggs, onions, potatoes, parsley, and salted codfish. The part I can’t get over is the frying bit which results in the nice brown outer layer. I will have to try making a baked version one day. Everytime I eat these it’s like travelling back in time to my early childhood years.
Are you a fan of cod fish balls? Are there other mashed potato and fish patties/cutlets/balls that you fancy?